Friday, April 25, 2014

Cessna T206H Turbo Stationair, N262ME, Scintitech Inc: Accident occurred April 22, 2014 in Gilford, New Hampshire

http://registry.faa.gov/N262ME 

NTSB Identification: ERA14CA209
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, April 22, 2014 in Gilford, NH
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/05/2014
Aircraft: CESSNA T206H, registration: N262ME
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot of the float equipped airplane reported that he intended to practice water landings and operations after about 7 months of seaplane inactivity due to winter. He was flying above a lake with glassy water conditions surveying the surface for ice or other hazards when the airplane's floats inadvertently contacted the water "a bit harder" then normal. The pilot elected to reduce engine power and attempted to land; however, the airplane nosed over into the water, and subsequently sank. Postaccident examination of the airplane did not reveal any abnormalities that would have precluded normal operation. The right float displayed evidence of contact with the propeller and the aft portion of the fuselage, near the empennage was substantially damaged. The pilot reported about 1,400 hours of total flight experience; which included about 50 hours in the same make and model as the accident airplane. In addition, he reported 21 landings on water during the 12 months that preceded the accident, with the most recent water landing about 7 months prior.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot misjudged the float equipped airplane's altitude while maneuvering above the surface of a lake, which resulted in a float inadvertently contacting the water. Contributing to the accident were the glassy water conditions and pilot's lack of recent experience in amphibious airplanes.



ALTON — Divers and local firefighters floated a single-engine airplane from the bottom of Lake Winnipesaukee to the surface on Friday, raising it from the waters near Diamond Island where it crashed Tuesday afternoon. 

Meanwhile, the pilot of the plane told Federal Aviation Administration's investigators that he was having problems seeing ahead of the plane when he crashed, according to Fire Chief Scott Williams.

"The pilot told the FAA he was having problems seeing because the lake was very calm and like a mirror that day," Williams said. "I can verify that, when we got there we were seeing some different things because the lake was so smooth."


Vadim Gayshan, 59, of Sudbury, Mass., was found at 12:50 p.m. Tuesday, clinging to his plane, a 2000 Cessna T206H fixed-wing single-engine craft, out of Fitchburg, Mass. He was submerged from the waist down, the Marine Patrol said.

Gayshan was the lone occupant in the plane, which went down in The Broads area of the lake in Alton in about 105 feet of water, authorities said. Rescue crews used a throw ring to remove him from the plane and bring him aboard the patrol boat. The plane is owned by Scinitech, a Shirley, Mass., manufacturer of scintillators and detectors, a spokesman at the company confirmed Gayshan was taken to Lakes Region General Hospital "suffering from cold water immersion," the Marine patrol said in a press release.

Gayshan said he was flying over the lake at about 85 mph and about 300-400 feet above the water's surface when he started to do a pilot "touch and go" exercised and misjudged his elevation.
The plane's pontoon caught on the water and caused a nose-first crash, the Marine Patrol said. Gayshan told investigators Tuesday he was looking at the ice conditions when his plane caught the lake waters, said the Marine Patrol.

"He definitely had a hard landing, but who knows what he was seeing, the lake was reflecting everything that day," Williams said.

At 10 a.m. Friday, divers from Dive Winnipesaukee in Wolfeboro dove to the plane, which had been sitting on the bottom of the lake since Tuesday. They floated the plane to the surface with large air bags.

The recovery process took several hours, Williams said. Barges and workers from Winnipesaukee Marine were on hand to bring the plan to shore.

"It came up tail first, and it was a slow process," he said.

The plane was out of the water by about 2:30 p.m., and was towed to shore for further examination by the FAA, Williams said,


Story and photos:   http://www.unionleader.com


Crews floated a plane that crashed into Lake Winnipesaukee on Tuesday to the surface Friday afternoon.
  COURTESY ALTON FIRE DEPARTMENT 

COURTESY ALTON FIRE DEPARTMENT 






Flying over Lake Winnipesaukee on April 21th, 2014. Declaring Ice In and Ice Out on Lake Winnipesaukee has been tasked to the employees of Emerson Aviation, a Fixed Base Operator at Laconia Municipal Airport, since 1979. To inquire about scenic flights over Lake Winnipesaukee please visit emersonaviation.com or call (800)-808-2687

Outgoing Air Marshals director signed 'settlement agreement' with TSA

EXCLUSIVE: Amid an ongoing probe into an alleged gun selling operation within his agency, outgoing Federal Air Marshal Service (FAMS) Director Robert Bray struck a settlement that included a provision to suspend any possible disciplinary actions against him, according to a letter from the head of the Transportation Security Administration.

"I am aware of the allegations within the FAMS, including those involving the Director, and believe them to be subject to appropriate investigation," said the April 18 letter by Administrator John S. Pistole to Rep. Richard Hudson, chairman of the Subcommittee on Transportation Security. The letter went on to say that while the overall investigation remains ongoing, Bray "has entered into a settlement agreement, which includes a provision to hold in abeyance any potential disciplinary actions."

FoxNews.com obtained Pistole's letter, written in response to an April 10 letter by Hudson expressing his concerns about the investigation, Bray's alleged involvement and whether his impending retirement was related to the ongoing probe.

Reached for comment, Bray attorney Ken Cuccinelli released a statement saying the agreement was struck after his retirement announcement.

"After nearly 40 years of unblemished service in law enforcement, Mr. Bray announced his retirement on March 31st," Cuccinelli said. "Several days after Mr. Bray's retirement announcement, a representative from the TSA Office of Chief Counsel approached Mr. Bray about entering into a mutual hold-harmless agreement in which both sides waived any potential claims against the other and set down the timeline of Mr. Bray's retirement."

Sources familiar with the investigation told FoxNews.com TSA and FAMS management have been trying to keep agency employees from talking about a litany of allegations of improper conduct now under investigation, including the now-public reports of the gun operation, first reported by FoxNews.com.

Pistole's letter said the probe started with a tip in March 2013 to the Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General (OIG), with information that a "Federal Air Marshal (FAM) was purchasing and selling guns without a license to coworkers." From there, Pistole wrote, the OIG referred the information to TSA's Office of Inspection for investigation.

The operation, whistleblowers have claimed, involved Air Marshal Supervisor Danny Poulos.

Poulos, now on administrative leave, is accused of improperly using his relationship with weapons manufacturer Sig Sauer to obtain discounted firearms and provide them to agency personnel, including Bray.

TSA officials have confirmed Bray did buy weapons from the supervisor, but did so legally and with "no knowledge" they may have been "ill-gotten." Bray also told CNN that he bought the guns from the supervisor, and denied his retirement was related to the ongoing investigation.

Pistole's letter stated that on March 18 of this year, TSA's deputy administrator was briefed that the investigative work pertaining to the director "had been completed," and was handed over for "review and adjudication." Pistole said he learned about that information the same day.

A TSA spokesman declined to comment on the letter when reached by FoxNews.com.

On March 31, Bray sent an agency-wide email announcing his departure with the subject line "Personal Message from Director Bray."

"Many of you have heard me talk about the importance of change and how vital it is to keep any agency moving forward," he wrote. "Therefore, I need to practice what I preach and so effective June 28th, I am going to retire from Federal service.  I have no plans except to spend time with my wife and family, without whose love and support I could not have had such a great, long career."

Source:  http://www.foxnews.com

Trainee pilots role models for Papua New Guinea

Nelson Aviation College is part of an ambitious experiment to lift the status of women in Papua New Guinea.

Four women from PNG have started a 68-week course at the Motueka pilot training school, on full scholarships funded by the governor of Central Province, Kila Haoda.

The innovative move is part of a plan by the Central Province government to raise the education level and perception of women in the country. The women's progress towards gaining a pilot's licence is being publicised in PNG so that they can act as role models in a country where only around 5 per cent of women are in waged work, according to Unesco.

"It is important in PNG and especially in the Central Province that I promote gender equality, in an industry that is dominated with males," said the governor.

The college's chief flying instructor, Jeremy Anderson, flew to PNG in early March to help select the women. He said the novel scheme attracted 100 applications and he met 10 shortlisted women.

He said they were all well educated, all at university with interests in hard sciences, and he was primarily looking for qualities of teamwork, honesty, leadership and the ability to learn.

The four women are living on campus in Motueka and in May, will be joined by the fifth scholarship recipient, who is currently in pilot training in Fiji.

Anderson said Central Province chose to work with NAC because it had a good reputation and already had links with Air Niugini, PNG's national carrier.

He said the women could be good candidates for jobs with the airline or one of the other airlines in PNG.

He said the school hoped the programme would be the start of an ongoing relationship with Central Province, and there had been talk of another five women coming once the first group had completed their training. The school now has five private students from PNG enrolled as well.

"We're very keen to support them because the aim of equality is very important.

"It's a big deal for them, it's a big deal for the people of Central Province, and we look forward to getting them trained and returned to PNG so they can inspire others," said Anderson.

Trainee pilot Marie Auka said: "We are proud to be selected as pioneer female cadets under the Central Female Pilot Scholarship Programme. This is not only a milestone but an honour and a privilege for us. We are still adjusting to the cold weather, however we are enjoying the hospitality and the friendly nature of people all around us. We hope to learn a lot about the culture and the people of New Zealand as well as learning how to fly." 


Story and photo:  http://www.stuff.co.nz

Left to right, Siolima Walo, 26, Marie Auka, 19, Gail Rivu, 21, Selina Kule, 22

More women are taking to the skies as airline pilots, writes Izwan Ismail

The aircraft simulator begins to vibrate a little as trainee pilot Lim Ju Lian starts to push the throttle forward. Carefully she takes the single-engine Piper Warrior aircraft to the end of the runaway.

As the plane is ready for take-off, with full view of the runaway in front of her, she applies full power and pulls the control and it starts its climb to the skies.

Although it’s just simulator training, everything looks real. Even the Batu Berendam airport in Malacca which Lim is flying from looks exactly the same as the real thing as she circles the area from 1,524 metres.

After circulating Batu Berendam airspace for 20 minutes, she lands the Piper Warrior smoothly, just like in the real world. Lim, together with two other female trainee pilots, Sima Ghanouni Moghaddam from Iran and Nuzhat Tabassum Islam from Bangladesh, are among the few females in this male-dominated flying course to fulfill their dream of becoming an airline pilot one day.

The three, once they graduate from the Malaysian Flying Academy in Batu Berendam, will be the academy’s 48th, 49th and 50th certified pilots ready to fly with airlines around the world.

LEVEL PLAYING FIELD

In the aviation world, the number of female pilots is still very low. Although it has been 40 years since the first female pilot started work for a commercial airline, they are still considered rare. Around the world, only 4,000 of the 130,000 airline pilots are women, according to the International Society of Women Airline Pilots.

However, the Malaysian Flying Academy, which is based in Malacca, intends to change that with its success in producing female pilots. The number of female pilots graduating from this flying school has been increasing over the past years.

For Lim, who comes from Puchong, Selangor, flying is a source of pleasure and satisfaction. Despite having a degree in graphic design, her ultimate career of choice is to become a commercial airline pilot. “I believe women are equal to men in the aviation world and they can fly airplanes as good as men,” she says.

It’s no longer a career just for the men as more and more women, especially in the west, have been flying commercial airlines. Lim’s idol is Captain Norashikin Onn, the first female commercial pilot in Malaysia, now flying for Air Asia.

“She has proven that local women can do it, and I would like to be like her,” she says.

Lim’s interest in flying started while she was studying graphic design, but she has always been fascinated by the idea of flying. “I took a private pilot license before enrolling in MFA and my parents fully supported my decision,” she shares.

For Nuzhat Tabassum Islam from Bangladesh, graduating with a Commercial Pilot Licence with Instrument Rating (CPL/IR) is a dream she’s had since secondary school. She was inspired to fly by her school teacher, who used to be in the air force and would share stories about how amazing it was.

The CPL/IR is designed to train a person to become a full-fledged pilot with commercial airlines. “The stories I heard inspired me to fly. I wanted to join the air force but due to certain reasons I could not apply. So I then thought about joining the commercial aviation sector,” says Nuzhat.

Besides, her uncle, a pilot for Biman, the Bangladeshi Airline, had given her several opportunities to be in the cockpit. “That experience inspired me too,” says the 20-year-old. Her fluency in English has helped a lot in her studies at the MFA.

Meanwhile, graduating soon with a CPL/IR is Iranian cadet Sima Ghanouni Moghaddam who holds a diploma in Science, as well as degrees in Biology and German.

The 31-year-old from Tehran previously worked as a sales officer in a company producing electric vehicles but her ambition was always to fly. “It’s always been my dream to take to the skies in the pilot seat of a Boeing or Airbus,” says Sima.

But what’s more important to her right now is to gain as many flying hours as possible. To date, she has done nearly 80 hours of flying. Her idol is Amelia Earhart, the first female pilot to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean.

Sima says she’s ready to work in any part of the world once she obtains her pilot’s license. “I left Iran nine years ago and there should be no problem adapting to a new environment.”

“It’s time more young women realize that the job responsibilities on an aircraft are not defined by gender and that they can become anything they aspire to be,” says MFA principal, Captain Stephen Michael Terry.

“Many young girls are not aware that it is a career option for them and we want to change that perception and help them with the many opportunities in the industry,” he adds.

THE MALAYSIAN FLYING ACADEMY


Established in 1983, the Malaysian Flying Academy is a prominent figure in the aviation industry here. As a pioneer, it grooms young cadets for their pilot uniform, equipping them with all the necessary skills and qualifications.

For the past three decades, MFA has paved the way for enthusiastic cadets by developing their career with major airlines all over the world. Thus, the alumni consist of pilots from all corners of the globe. MFA is internationally recognized by the International Civil Aviation Organization and fully accredited by the Department of Civil Aviation, Malaysia.

The academy has 16 single-engine Piper Warrior/Cadet aircraft, four Piper Seneca III twin engine aircraft, and three Piper Seminole twin engine aircraft with one more coming next month.

There are also two flight simulators which have the view of all airports in Malaysia as well as major world airports like Changi, Hong Kong, London and Amsterdam. Over the past three decades, MFA has successfully trained and continues to train cadet pilots for major airlines such as Malaysia Airlines, AirAsia, Singapore Airlines, Silk Air, Jetstar Airways and Air Mauritius, as well as air regiments from Polis DiRaja Malaysia.

The course duration is 18 months and one can enroll with five SPM credits.

Story and photo:   http://www.nst.com.my

(From left) Nuzhat, Sima and Lim will soon be living their dream.

Flight Design CTLS, N106SF: Accident occurred April 25, 2014 in Greenville, Texas



NTSB Identification: CEN14LA226
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, April 25, 2014 in Greenville, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/11/2016
Aircraft: FLIGHT DESIGN GMBH CTLS, registration: N106SF
Injuries: 2 Minor.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The private pilot reported that a routine maintenance inspection had been completed earlier on the day of the accident. During the initial personal flight after the inspection, the engine exhaust gas temperatures (EGT) differed by up to 150 degrees, although they remained within the specified operating limitations. The pilot chose to divert to an intermediate airport to investigate any mechanical issue with the engine. The pilot reported that a mechanic informed him that the EGT difference was not unusual for that particular engine. No significant engine issues were identified, and two subsequent run-ups were normal. A third run-up and subsequent takeoff were also normal. As the flight progressed, the EGT indications were within limitations, and, after 25 minutes, they had equalized. About 5 minutes later, the engine and propeller “stopped abruptly.” The pilot’s attempts to restore engine power were unsuccessful. He subsequently executed a forced landing to an athletic field. During the landing, the nose landing gear separated, and the airplane nosed over.

A postaccident engine examination revealed that the No. 4 cylinder exhaust valve had failed near the valve head due to bending fatigue. The No. 4 cylinder, piston, and exhaust valve head exhibited extensive gouging, scraping, and deformation consistent with secondary damage due to the failed exhaust valve. Further examination revealed that the No. 4 cylinder exhaust train tappet exhibited severe wear, which had significantly reduced the height of the exhaust tappet compared to the height of the intake tappet. The resulting gap in the exhaust valve train due to the shortened tappet likely caused excessive impact loads between the exhaust valve and the cylinder valve seat during engine operation, which resulted in the valve’s failure. The subsequent secondary damage due to the separated valve head ultimately caused the catastrophic engine failure.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The fatigue failure of the No. 4 cylinder exhaust valve due to excessive wear of the corresponding train tappet, which resulted in a total loss of engine power.

On April 25, 2014, about 1742 central daylight time, a Flight Design GMBH CTLS light sport airplane, N106SF, was substantially damaged during a forced landing following a loss of engine power near Greenville, Texas. The pilot and passenger sustained minor injuries. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which was not operated on a flight plan. The flight originated from the Fox Stephens Field – Gilmer Municipal Airport (JXI), Gilmer, Texas, about 1635. The intended destination was the Denton Enterprise Airport (DTO), Denton, Texas.

The pilot reported that a routine maintenance inspection was completed earlier on the day of the accident. During the initial flight after the inspection, the engine exhaust gas temperatures differed by up to 150 degrees, although they remained within the specified operating limitations. He elected to divert to the Gilmer Municipal Airport (JXI), Gilmer, Texas. A mechanic reportedly informed the pilot that the EGT difference was not unusual for that particular engine. However, the spark plugs were removed and examined. Minor debris was removed from one of the upper, right spark plugs. Otherwise, the spark plugs exhibited normal wear signatures. The engine oil did not appear to contain any contamination. The spark plugs were re-installed and two subsequent engine run-ups were normal.

A third run-up was completed before takeoff from JXI; both the run-up and the takeoff were normal. As the flight progressed, the EGT indications were within limitations and, after 25 minutes, had equalized. About 5 minutes later, the engine and propeller "stopped abruptly." The pilot's attempts to restore engine power were unsuccessful. He initially planned to divert to the Majors Airport (GVT), Greenville, Texas; however, the airplane did not have sufficient altitude to reach the runway. He subsequently elected to execute a forced landing to an athletic field located about 3 miles north of the airport. During the landing, the nose landing gear separated and the airplane nosed over.

A postaccident engine examination was conducted under the supervision of a Federal Aviation Administration airworthiness inspector. The examination revealed that the no. 4 cylinder exhaust valve had failed near the valve head. Subsequent metallurgical examination determined that the failure resulted from bending fatigue. The no. 4 cylinder, piston, and exhaust valve head exhibited extensive gouging, scraping, and deformation consistent with secondary damage due to the failed exhaust valve. The damage also included a hole in the top of the piston with extensive secondary impact damage as noted. The tappets exhibited light to moderate spalling, with the exception of the no. 4 cylinder exhaust tappet, which exhibited severe wear. The wear had reduced the height of the exhaust tappet by more than 5 mm as compared to the intake tappet. In addition, the no. 4 cylinder exhaust valve cam lobe was severely damaged with large spalls visible on both the opening and closing sides.

At the time of the accident, the airplane, a Flight Design CTLS (s/n F-09-10-13), had accumulated 1,613 hours total time in service. It was powered by a 100-horsepower Rotax 912 ULS 2, 4-cylinder, reciprocating engine (s/n 6775304), with an identical service time. Maintenance records indicated that the engine complied with the requirements for an extended time-between-overhaul (TBO) of 2,000 hours. The most recent inspection was completed on the day of the accident at 1,608 hours time in service. The maintenance records noted that engine oil was changed at that time. The magnetic plug was noted as "dirty, but OK." In addition, the entry noted that an exhaust pipe leak on the no.2 cylinder was repaired and that two exhaust springs were replaced. There was no specific mention of any maintenance work to the no. 4 cylinder.



NTSB Identification: CEN14LA226 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, April 25, 2014 in Greenville, TX
Aircraft: FLIGHT DESIGN GMBH CTLS, registration: N106SF
Injuries: 2 Minor.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On April 25, 2014, about 1742 central daylight time, a Flight Design GMBH CTLS light sport airplane, N106SF, was substantially damaged during a forced landing following a loss of engine power near Greenville, Texas. The pilot and passenger sustained minor injuries. The aircraft was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which was not operated on a flight plan. The flight originated from the Winnsboro Municipal Airport (F51), Winnsboro, Texas, about 1710.

The pilot stated that about 30 minutes into the flight the engine and propeller "stopped abruptly." His attempts to restore engine power were not successful. He initially planned to divert to the Majors Airport (GVT), Greenville, Texas; however, the airplane did not have sufficient altitude to reach the runway. He subsequently elected to execute a forced landing to an athletic field located about 3 miles north of the airport. During the landing, the nose landing gear separated and the airplane nosed over.


A small aircraft crashed on a field in Greenville Friday afternoon. 

A spokesperson for the Federal Aviation Administration said that the aircraft landed on a soccer field at the Greenville Sports Park and flipped over.

The plane was headed for Majors Field at Greenville Municipal Airport when the aircraft lost power about five miles out, the city of Greenville said. The pilot was able to glide the plane to the open fields at the sports park.

The pilot and a female passenger were on board. They were not injured.

“It kind of bounced flipped end over end," said assistant coach Kirstin Logan. "We were all kind of in shock so we all took off running for the plane hoping that everyone was OK."

The sports park is northwest of the intersection of Interstate 30 and state Highway 34 in the city of Greenville.

There was no fire, but the crew at Greenville Fire Station 3 witnessed the plane gliding down and responded immediately to rescue the pilot and passenger from the plane.

The Department of Safety and FAA are investigating the crash.

The Blue Angels in Fort Worth for the Air Power Expo



This weekend will be very entertaining for anyone who loves speed and jets. The Blue Angels are in town and are ready to put on a show in North Texas.

The Blue Angels are at the Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base in Fort Worth and will be a part of the Air Power Expo on Saturday and Sunday. Gates will open at 9 a.m. and the flight demonstration will begin at 11 a.m. until 4 p.m.  The event is free and parking spaces will be available for all attendees.

"We've been looking forward to this show for awhile. Our season was canceled last year, obviously, and we are so, even more excited to be back in Fort Worth this year and we're excited to come out and show the people of Fort Worth what it is that Navy aviation does," said Lieutenant Commander of the Blue Angels, Nate Barton.

The air show will include many others such as Julie Clark's Team Juice+ T-34 meator, the U.S. Navy Leap Frogs Demonstration Team and many more local legends who will be returning to the base. To see the entire list of performers who will be present you can go to the Air Power Expo website.

Story, video and comments/reaction:   http://www.nbcdfw.com

Alaska Air plane returns to Sea-Tac after bird collision

SEATTLE (AP) - An Alaska Airlines plane returned to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport about 20 minutes after take-off on Friday afternoon because a bird had collided with the aircraft and damaged the plane.

Airport spokesman Perry Cooper says there were no injuries aboard the plane. Flight 2460 took off toward Bozeman, Montana, around 1:45 p.m.

After the collision the pilot turned the plane around and landed in Seattle around 2:08 p.m. without incident. The bird was still attached to the nose of the aircraft.

Cooper says plane-bird collisions rarely cause damage to aircraft.

Alaska Airline spokesman Paul McElroy says the bird went through the skin of the nose of the plane, which is a Bombardier Q 400 operated by Alaska subsidiary Horizon Air.

McElroy says the 65 passengers on board were scheduled to take off in another plane around 3:20 p.m., scheduled to arrive in Bozeman around 6 p.m.

Neither Cooper nor McElroy knew what kind of bird was killed in the collision.


Source:   http://www.komonews.com

Mystery of Flight 370's Disappearance Hangs Over Obama's Malaysia Visit: Malaysian Government Has Undermined Credibility With the Public by Withholding Some Information

The Wall Street Journal

By  Richard C. Paddock and  James Hookway


April 25, 2014 9:17 a.m. ET

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia—The question of what exactly happened to Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 is still unanswered nearly 50 days after it vanished—a mystery that hangs over the nation as it prepares for U.S. President Barack Obama's weekend visit.

Up and down the country, Malaysians often pause for a moment's prayer at sporting contests and other public events. Messages of support and condolence to the families of the 239 people aboard pop up on digital screens in public spaces and on trains in and around Kuala Lumpur.

Malaysia plans to release an interim report of what it knows about what happened to Flight 370, which disappeared on an overnight flight to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur March 8, but it is unlikely to contain surprises: Australian and Malaysian officials alike say they fear that they may already know all there is to know about the plane's fate—at least until confirmed debris is found.

President Obama, who arrives here Saturday on his first visit to Malaysia, is expected to discuss the missing jet with Prime Minister Najib Razak during a private meeting, according to the prime minister's office. Flight 370's missing include three Americans: one adult, and two young children whose parents were Chinese citizens.

But Mr. Obama is unlikely to come away with any fresh answers, either. Mr. Najib told The Wall Street Journal in an interview Thursday that the multinational investigation has made no substantial progress since March 28, when a detailed analysis of satellite data caused the search to be shifted to the current area of the southern Indian Ocean.

"That's all we have until today," Mr. Najib said. "That's why it's so frustrating. When you do an investigation you have to adhere to the principle of 'follow the evidence.' But what is the evidence? What evidence do we have? It might sound so unbelievable but that's all we have. That's all the world has."

But Malaysian officials have declined to release many details, such as the aircraft's altitude and speed as it turned from its planned course and headed out over the Indian Ocean. This has compounded the mystery, upset many relatives of the missing passengers and undermined the government's credibility with the Malaysian public.

Mr. Najib told the Journal his government would release a preliminary report next week. The report, said to be relatively short, has been delivered to the International Civil Aviation Organization, as required under the rules of that United Nations agency.

"We've sent the preliminary report to the ICAO, and I see no reason why the report cannot be made public," Mr. Najib pledged in the interview.

Malaysia's Inspector General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar said Friday that investigators have interviewed hundreds of people, including some foreigners. But he gave no indication that the investigation has uncovered anything new.

"It is still ongoing," he told reporters, with investigators "following the best leads."

The prime minister pointed out that the investigators include not just Malaysians, but experts from other countries—among them, the U.S.—as well as the satellite company, Inmarsat.

"Don't forget this is a multinational task force," Mr. Najib said. "There are advanced countries involved. The foremost experts are involved in searching for this aircraft, and that's all we can come up with. And that's why it is so bedeviling and so perplexing."

In all, 26 nations are assisting Malaysia. Assets contributed by the U.S. include the Bluefin-21 submersible that is searching the seabed for the plane's wreckage and the "towed pinger locator" that detected signals believed to be from the plane's black-box flight recorders. Those signals helped determine the current search area.

The U.S. has been "significantly involved from the very beginning" and continues to provide "all relevant technical, investigative and search and rescue support" requested by the Malaysian government, a U.S. State Department official who asked not to be named said by email.

In declining to reveal some information about the plane, Malaysian officials often cite the continuing investigation, which they have classified as criminal. But Mr. Khalid and other top officials have identified no crime publicly. Nor have they offered a motive, a suspect or a theory of what happened.

Defense Minister Hishammuddin Hussein has said the key to the mystery is the black boxes, which investigators believe are resting on the bottom of the Indian Ocean, nearly 3 miles down. But the underwater hunt so far has turned up nothing, prompting Australian authorities to say Friday they are preparing to enlarge the search zone. 

Source:   http://online.wsj.com

Eurocopter AS350B3 Ecureuil, PHI Air Medical, N395P: Accident occurred April 09, 2014 in Albuquerque, New Mexico

NTSB Identification: CEN14FA193 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, April 09, 2014 in Albuquerque, NM
Aircraft: AIRBUS AS350 B3, registration: N395P
Injuries: 3 Minor.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On April 9, 2014, about 1745 mountain daylight time, an Airbus (Eurocopter) AS 350 B3 helicopter, N395P, impacted the hospital roof top following departure from the UNM hospital helipad, Albuquerque, New Mexico. The helicopter was registered to and operated by PHI, Inc. Lafayette, Louisiana, under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The commercial pilot and two paramedics received only minor injuries and the helicopter was substantially damaged. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a company flight plan was filed for the local repositioning flight that was originating at the time of the accident. 

The pilot reported that he had completed all pre-takeoff hydraulic checks and that after liftoff, he commanded a slight left turn. However, the helicopter kept turning and entered a spin. The pilot added that the pedals were jammed or locked, in the neutral position. Video from a security camera mounted on the hospital helipad revealed that the helicopter began to yaw in a counterclockwise direction as it lifted off the helipad. The helicopter completed several rotations before it impacted the roof top, and came to rest adjacent the helipad. A small post-crash fire started, but was extinguished shortly after the helipad's fire suppression system activated. 

Examination of the accident site revealed that the helicopter came to rest on its right side. Several cuts/scars on the roof were consistent with impact from the main rotor blades or skids were observed. Continuity of the drive unit was confirmed throughout the tail rotor system; all major structural components of the helicopter were accounted for on scene. 

The wreckage was recovered from the hospital's roof top and transported to a secure location for further examination.

http://registry.faa.gov/N395P


ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – UNM Hospital has released surveillance video that shows a medical helicopter crashing into the hospital’s roof just after takeoff earlier this month.

In the video from Apr. 9, you see the helicopter take off and go every direction but up. Hospital staff walked media through the video on Friday and the critical decisions by those involved that kept the accident from turning deadly. 

 The helicopter takes off, rotates to turn into the wind and keeps turning. Hospital staff said the pilot tried to put the helicopter down on the helipad but then thought better. Rather than damage the helipad or try flying off, the pilot decided to lay the helicopter down on its side on the roof. This all happened in a matter of 12 seconds.

“I find that very impressive piloting in a very short period of time,” Dr. Bob Bailey, a UNM physician and an emergency operations center commander, said. “A lot of decisions were made. I think in doing that, he not only may have saved his own life and the crews’ life, but he may have saved the lives of a lot of other people.”

According to a preliminary report from the NTSB, the pilot said the control pedals froze or jammed upon takeoff.

Seconds after the helicopter crasheD, the video shows two security officers rush toward the burning helicopter after they’ve activated the fire suppression system. One security officer helped pull the pilot to safety, while the other battled flames with a fire extinguisher.

The pilot suffered minor injuries and the two other crew members were unharmed.

“Once it was down we activated the system and went to work,” said Eugene Lujan an officer who was present at the crash. “They needed help, so we just responded.”

During the crash the blades of the helicopter cut through part of the roof, causing some damage. Repairs were completed Thursday night.

Hospital staff said a debriefing will be scheduled to go over what went well and what could be done differently should this happen again.

The NTSB is still investigating. A final report could take several more months.


Video: UNMH releases helicopter crash video


Pittsburgh International Airport, Pennsylvania: Ousted executive receives $51k in unused vacation, sick pay

FINDLAY TWP. -- Allegheny County Airport Authority's ousted top executive will receive $51,245 for unused vacation and sick pay, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported,

This payout is in addition to the $134,375 severance package Bradley D. Penrod, president and chief strategy officer, had already received.

Penrod was fired from his post in March. Chief Financial Officer James R. Gill was named acting executive director until a replacement is found.

"Regarding the search for a permanent replacement, the Airport Authority Board is proceeding with the steps for the search," said authority spokeswoman JoAnn Jenny. "Any news on this would be made at the board meeting which is public. At this time there is nothing to report."

Penrod's departure came on the heels of several major developments at the airport,  such as Consol Energy’s two-year deal to drill on 9,200 acres of airport-owned property, and the recent $17.9 billion merger of American Airlines and US Airways.


Source:   http://www.timesonline.com

Ten Airlines being solicited for interest in serving Riverton, Airport Board told Friday: Riverton Regional Airport (KRIW), Wyoming

(Riverton, Wyo.) – The Riverton Regional Airport Board Friday morning heard that efforts to enhance local commercial air service are now well underway. The Chairman of the Air Service Task Force, Missy White of Lander, said a formal request had been submitted to Wyoming Aeronautics and that they had begun contacting airlines to judge their interest in serving Riverton.
 

“In addition to Skywest, they’ve been in contact with Mesa Air, Wisconsin Airlines, Frontier, United, Silver Airways, Gulf Air, Horizon Air, and American Eagle,” White said. “They are doing a good job of getting options on the table. Great Lakes Airlines, Riverton’s current air service provider, is also in the mix.

Airport Manager Paul Griffin said Great Lakes is changing its local Riverton schedule again, and returning to the use of Beechcraft 1900s exclusively for Riverton. “We’ll be connected with Worland. The flights will start in Denver to Riverton, to Worland, back here to Riverton and then to Denver. I’m not sure if we’re getting the 19 seat Beech or the 9 seater, but since Worland is an Essential Air Service Market, we’ll have flights that should be more reliable,” Griffin said. “He noted that in the first quarter of this year, 63 percent of the flights scheduled to arrive in Riverton were cancelled due to a variety of reasons, including weather, pilot rest, and pilot shortages.

The new schedule would see five flights a day, Sunday through Friday, two of which would go to Worland, three to Denver. Saturday’s schedule would be four flights a day, two to Worland and two to Denver.

White said the task force has been getting “enthusiastic participation” from around the county. “It’s great to see that unified focus, it certainly has increased the conversations about air service,” she said. White also said a delegation from Cody will come here to talk to the task force about how they were able to successfully enhance their local service. “We want to use the best practices that apply to us,” White said. “We can learn from others.”

In terms of what kind of local subsidy may be required to enhance service at Riverton Regional, White said it all depends on what airline comes forward, what kind of aircraft they have, and how Riverton fits into their flight schedule. She said an annual guarantee of from $2 to $3 million is the general range “at the moment” but she also said if boardings increase here and ticket revenues are good, the amount of local incentive required to pay the airline would go down as passenger numbers go up.


Story and photos:  http://county10.com

Enchanced Air Service Task Force Chairman Missy White of Lander spoke to the Riverton Airport Board Friday morning.

Mom urges heart checkups to honor late daughter: Cirrus SR22, N436KS, accident occurred September 15, 2012 in Willard, Missouri

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -

A Springfield mother who lost her two children in a deadly plane crash in 2012 is now taking action. She's doing something she says could save other families from the grief she's been through.

You can walk into a room in a place like Advanced Ultrasound Solutions in Springfield and have your heart checked.

That's what that Georgia Marshall is trying to get more teens to do. She says it could've kept her daughter from going through open heart surgery before she died.

Georgia's daughter McKinley was just 12 years old when they found out she had a hole in her heart.  McKinley survived the open heart surgery, but didn't survive a plane crash. She was 15 when the private plane went down near Willard in 2012. The crash killed her, her two brothers, father, and his girlfriend.

And while Georgia says she's still coping with the grief, she says she knew she had to do something when she woke up from a dream. “About a year ago McKinley came to me in a dream and I’ve been very mad at God. I didn't understand why the kids had to be taken, but she came to me in a dream and she said mom, I know what you're supposed to do, and I remember looking at her and saying what, sissy? And she said, you know my heart, what we went through, you're supposed to try to save other kids. When I woke up, I knew. I just knew."

That's why Georgia and Advanced Ultrasound Solutions are now starting Midwest Heart Check.

They say they'll be going to different schools to try and get heart checks to become a part of sports physicals to help save other kids.

It costs about $150 for teens to get their heart screened through the company. But Georgia says they also have a foundation where you can donate that will help families who can't afford it to get the exam. Just log on to our website at kspr.com and click on “newscasts links” to find where to go to help.


Story and video:    http://www.kspr.com 

Pictured: John Lambert and his three children - Grayson, McKinley and Joshua - were killed in the plane crash. This photo was uploaded to Grayson's Twitter account on Friday night, September 14, 2012.   

Robin Melton was also killed:
Robin E. Melton



http://registry.faa.gov/N436KS

NTSB Identification: CEN12FA633 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, September 15, 2012 in Willard, MO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/05/2013
Aircraft: CIRRUS DESIGN CORP SR22, registration: N436KS
Injuries: 5 Fatal.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot was conducting an instrument landing system approach in night instrument meteorological conditions at the time of the accident. Radar track data indicated that the airplane crossed the final approach course near the initial approach fix, about 11 miles from the runway. The airplane drifted through the localizer about 0.25 mile before crossing the localizer again and drifting about 0.25 mile to the opposite side of the localizer. The airplane flightpath then paralleled the localizer briefly. The track data indicated that the airplane entered a left turn, which resulted in about a 90-degree course change. About that time, the pilot requested radar vectors to execute a second approach. The airplane entered a second left turn that continued until the final radar data point, which was located about 420 feet from the accident site. During the second left turn, about 9 seconds before the final radar data point, the pilot transmitted, "I need some help." The data indicated that the accident airplane descended at an average rate of 6,000 feet per minute during the final 10 seconds of data. No further transmissions were received from the pilot. The airplane impacted an open area of a lightly wooded pasture located about 6 miles north-northwest of the destination airport. A witness reported hearing an airplane engine surge to high power about four times, followed by what sounded like a high speed dive. She heard the initial impact followed by an explosion. The postaccident examination of the airframe and engine did not reveal any preimpact failures or malfunctions that would have precluded normal operation. The location and condition of the airframe parachute system were consistent with partial deployment at the time of ground impact. Based on the performance information depicted by the radar data, the pilot's request for assistance, and examination of the airplane at the accident scene, it is most likely the pilot became spatially disoriented in night meteorological conditions and subsequently lost control of the airplane.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's loss of airplane control as a result of spatial disorientation experienced in night instrument meteorological conditions.


http://www.ntsb.gov

Feds Investigating Suspended UTC Contractor: Ma Brothers Suing United Technologies for $21.2 Million

United Technologies Corp. said Friday that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating a sales contractor hired by the company to market its commercial jet engines and related services in China.

Three weeks ago, securities regulators issued a subpoena to United Technologies as part of its investigation into the contractor, who was hired by United Technologies International Operations Inc. and International Aero Engines.

United Technologies did not name the contractor. But court documents show United Technologies to be involved with a sales contractor named Ma Brothers in Hong Kong.

In December, United Technologies told law enforcement officials in the United States and the United Kingdom that it began an internal investigation into the hired contractor, the company said in regulatory filings. When it began the investigation, United Technologies "suspended all commission payments to the sales representative, and since have not resumed making payments.

Cutting off payments led to two claims by the sales contractor for unpaid commissions.

"We are contesting the lawsuit and the arbitration claim," the company said. "We do not believe that the resolution of the lawsuit or the arbitration claim will have a material adverse effect on our competitive position, results of operations, cash flows or financial condition."

In a statement, United Technologies spokesman John Moran said: "UTC, Pratt & Whitney and IAE are cooperating fully with the investigation, and we will not make any further comment at this time."

In January, a contractor operating in China and employed by United Technologies to sell its engines, Ma Brothers Republic & Holdings Inc., sued United Technologies in federal court for $21.2 million, accusing the company of breaching its contract, unjustly enriching itself at the expense of Ma Brothers, and violating the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act.

Ma Brothers, in court documents filed two weeks ago, said United Technologies is "flexing its corporate muscle" by suspending payments without a proper excuse.

"At first, United Technologies claimed that it was suspending payments while it performed a hazily-defined 'audit' or 'review' of the relationship," the contractor said. "Then they heard some hearsay about business dealings in China which supposedly raised 'questions' in their mind, and which, they said, required further investigation before United Technologies would resume payments."

Ma Brothers said it had been a contractor of United Technologies since 2009, and works in the People's Republic of China, Macau and Hong Kong. It received its last payment from United Technologies in June 2013. United Technologies began its audit of the company in October 2012.

Further, Ma Brothers claims that United Technologies is using the company as a "scapegoat."

"United Technologies has chosen to seek to use Ma Brothers, without proper grounds or foundation, to improperly distance United Technologies from charges and/or investigations or potential investigations by government authorities into United Technologies' conduct concerning sales of its products. … In this way, it appears that United Technologies is attempting to use Ma Brothers as a classic 'scapegoat' to absolve itself of United Technologies' own misconduct."


Source:   http://www.courant.com

South St. Paul homes in airport buffer zones to be removed - some day

It was obvious to Tim and Linda Stromgren when they bought their South St. Paul house that planes would fly overhead. 

The two-story house that they bought in 2007 sits directly across the street from the end of the runway at Richard E. Fleming Field, a city-owned and operated airport that averages 63,700 flights annually.

What they say they didn't know at the time is their house is one of two located in a "runway protection zone," which the Federal Aviation Administration defines as a trapezoidal area off either end of a runway and meant to safeguard people and property in case a plane lands there or crashes.

Now, the city says the FAA wants the houses removed.

"We're apparently in some sort of safety zone," Linda Stromgren said.

The city first told the Stromgrens as much in 2012, while also explaining that they plan to buy the house.

What they still don't know is when.

"It's like we're living in limbo," said Stromgren. "And it's a horrible feeling."

The two South Street houses are just part of what must be removed in order for the city to comply with federal and state requirements concerning land-use compatibility and airspace obstructions, said Glenn Burke, airport manager.

An environmental assessment of the area around the airport also pinpointed 37 trees in South St. Paul and Inver Grove Heights that are considered to be in "clear zones," Burke said. South St. Paul must purchase the trees and remove them. The cost depends on the type of tree and age. Or the trees can be trimmed at the homeowner's expense.

An additional 163 trees are identified as being close to becoming an obstruction.

The north runway protection zone also encroaches into the front yards of two other houses along South Street, which means the city will have to buy navigation easements from the property owners.

All four of the houses were built before the FAA had established the runway protection zones, Burke said.

And up until three years ago, the FAA had given the city leeway because Fleming Field is in a built-up urban area and the buildings have been there for more than 50 years, he said. The agency then directed the city to do the environmental assessment and paid for it.

Over the past four years, the city has cut down about 50 trees in yards around the airport in South St. Paul and Inver Grove Heights -- and reimbursed the homeowners for doing so.

"We've made progress over the years," he said, "but probably not enough to satisfy the FAA, who is saying we've got some real issues here, as far as their concerned."

On the line for South St. Paul is future grant money from the FAA, he said.

"The last thing I want to do is make my neighbors mad," Burke said. "But (the FAA) sort of put down the gauntlet and said we're not going to give you any more money unless you address these issues. So that got our attention."

The city is eligible for grants from the agency that would go toward paying for 90 percent of the acquisition cost and other work, an FAA spokeswoman said. South St. Paul officials plan to pay the remaining cost.

Also targeted for removal are 32 parking spaces at McMorrow Field -- a neighborhood park adjacent to the airport and across the street from the Stromgrens.

This spring, the city also removed a three-acre community garden from the north runway protection zone that had been there since the 1990s.

In October, the city sent letters to residents who will be impacted by the planned work as well to other residents who live in blocks that are contiguous to the airport.

Next month, the city will host a meeting so residents can ask city staff questions and voice their concerns, Burke said. It will run from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. May 13 at the airport terminal building.

Burke said the city will appraise the Stromgren's house and their neighbor's house -- a duplex that is owned by Bernadine Bosworth -- with the goal of giving them fair-market value for them. The city will also give them relocation costs.

The Stromgrens say they would rather stay in their home, for which they paid $257,000, but also realize their options are limited.

"It's not that we want to fight this thing tooth and nail," Linda Stromgren said. "We want to be treated fairly and we want to be kept up to date with everything that is happening. We have no idea of when. Two Christmases ago we didn't know if it was our last Christmas here."

Bosworth, who is retired, said she is more welcoming to the open of moving than Stromgrens. She's lived in the duplex since 1968, including raising her two sons.

"I'm at an age where I'm ready to leave," she said.

Burke said there is no FAA deadline for buying the houses or a target date for the city to get into compliance.

"We will buy them when the FAA says they have the money for us and say to jump," said Burke, adding that could come as early as October, which is the start of the agency's next budget cycle.

The trees that are in the runway protection zones or in runway approach areas will receive first priority, he said.

Mike Kubiszewski says he sees no reason why the airport needs to cut down six mature trees in the back yard of his home in Inver Grove Heights.

"I've never seen or heard of navigation issues with these trees, and I've talked with pilots," Kubiszewski said. He said planes land at least 300 feet west from his property when on approach.

But the trees -- and others on three nearby properties -- are on land easements the airport secured in 1980s, Burke said.

"The city hasn't maintained these trees and now they want to take them down and remove all my shade and leave my yard bare," said Kubiszewski, who bought his house in 2001. "I don't agree with it."  


Source:  http://www.twincities.com

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: State College-bound flight makes emergency landing




Updated: Friday, April 25 2014, 10:46 AM EDT 

 HARRISBURG -- A Centre County-bound aircraft had to make an emergency landing after one of its engines stopped working, according to people who were on the airplane. 

Passengers on U.S. Airways Flight 4162 said one of the engines stopped working after the plane took off from Philadelphia International Airport en route to University Park Airport in State College, requiring the Thursday afternoon emergency landing at Harrisburg International Airport. 

Aileen Zaballero was on the flight and said the plane's crew kept everyone calm and worked to keep the passengers safe.   "The first thing I was thinking to myself, 'I don't think the propellers are supposed to stop,'" Zaballero said. "I wasn't in a panic mode of any sorts, I was just kind of processing the thought in my head." 

U.S. Airways wasn't available for comment Thursday night regarding the incident.

Story and video:   http://www.wjactv.com

Lehigh Valley Planning Commission applies for $38 million federal grant for road improvements around Lehigh Valley International Airport

ALLENTOWN, Pa. - The Lehigh Valley Planning Commission is applying for a federal grant that could result in at least $38 million in road improvements in and around Lehigh Valley International Airport.

In an unrelated matter at their Thursday night meeting, members of the LVPC board were presented with a new traffic safety plan that identifies high crash road corridors and intersections throughout the Lehigh Valley,

And they got a preview of findings in a new regional housing plan that will be released publicly in draft form next month.

The planning commission unanimously passed a resolution supporting an application for a federal TIGER grant that would be used to create “a multi-modal corridor” around the airport, which LVPC executive director Becky Bradley called one of the most congested corridors in the region.

TIGER is an acronym for Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery.

The grant program is administered by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

To pursue the grant, LVPC has entered into an “innovative” public-private partnership with Lehigh-Northampton Airport Authority, Lehigh and Northampton Transportation Authority, Lehigh Valley Industrial Parks, Inc., and the airport land buying Rockefeller Group of New York City.

“Right now we’re up to a $38 million request,” said Bradley. “That may or may not go up.” She added it could be as high as $40 million.

The airport is in Hanover Township, Lehigh County. The proposed project area includes Airport Road, Schoenersville Road, Race Street, intersections adjacent to or connecting those roads, plus roads within the airport.

Bradley said Race Street would be widened “by a couple of lanes.” A section of Airport Road along the airport also would be widened.

Intersections would be improved, with retiming of signals, on Schoenersville Road from the intersection with Airport Road south to 8th Avenue in Bethlehem.

New gateway improvements would be made into the airport. A “multi-modal” bus, taxi and airport shuttle area would be created, as would a new traffic circulation pattern inside the airport property.

“There are a number of rear-end collisions as people pull into the airport,” said Bradley.

She said the application would not include improvements to Route 22 because they are included in another state/federal funding program.

Bradley said the application will be submitted Friday and LVPC will find out if it has won a grant by autumn.

“The project would have to be substantially underway and/or complete by 2016,” she said.

- See more at: http://www.wblxlocal.com

Ask a Scientist: How does a plane engine work?

Question: How does a plane’s engine work?
 
Answer: Outside of military jets that use specialized engines, most modern designs of civilian aircraft engines belong to two major families: turboprop and turbofan. Turboprop engines can be identified with their exposed propellers and are usually used in smaller planes. Turbofans are the covered fan engine units found underneath of the wings of larger commercial jets, such as those made by Boeing and Airbus.

While their appearances look dramatically different, their functioning principles are very similar. Their basic structures include a rotor with blades in the front (that is, either a propeller or a fan depending on the engine type), a combustion chamber and a turbine at the back, and a set of gears and shafts connecting the turbine and the rotor. During operation, airplane fuel is injected into the combustion chamber and ignited, causing a rapid expansion of the gas inside that turns the turbine. The rotational force of the turbine is then transferred back to the rotor through the shafts and the gears, turning the propeller or the fan in the front.

So how does the turning rotor move an airplane forward? The mechanism is the same as that of a ceiling fan. If you observe the ceiling fan, you will see that its blades are angled. When turning, the angled blades create a pressure difference between the top and the bottom of the ceiling fan, creating a downward draft that cools the room. Similarly, the angled blades on the propeller or the fan of a plane engine sucks in air from its front side and forcefully blow the air out in its rear, creating a strong thrust force that pushes the plane forward. Then perhaps you would ask how come the ceiling fan does not break the ceiling and fly off? This is because the ceiling fan doesn’t rotate at a super-fast speed that creates a force strong enough to support its own weight and damage the ceiling structure.

The turboprop and the turbofan engines do still have their performance differences due to their designs. The exposed propellers of the turboprops are very efficient at flight speeds below 450 mph and lower altitudes, making them a cost-effective choice for smaller regional and general aviation aircraft. Turbofans, on the other hand, are the most efficient engines at higher speeds and are most suited for the long distance travel of large commercial airliners.


Source:   http://www.pressconnects.com

 

Hayward, California: Teen Pilots License Program To Take Off With Crowdfunding

HAYWARD (CBS SF) — Teach a teenager to fly, and they’re set for life. That’s the theory behind an unusual Hayward city program to bring low-income and at-risk youth to airports, teaching them about science, technology, engineering, and math, all from behind the yoke of an airplane.  Graduates leave with a pilot’s license, and a leg up on life, according to organizers.

“Motivation Through Aviation” works with a non-profit at Hayward Executive Airport called East Bay Aviators to take teens from knowing nothing about aviation, to actually obtaining their private pilot’s license after age 16.

“This initiative is amazing on a number of levels,” said Hayward’s Frank Holland. “Most young people – and particularly those with limited financial means – would never enjoy this type of opportunity. We’re hoping that the community will see that there’s a significant return on investment when we empower Hayward youth to pursue ambitious goals.”

Hayward announced a partnership Friday with Citizinvestor to raise $43,200 to expand the program, in its first crowdfunding foray.
 

As with most crowdfunding projects, investors won’t be charged until the project reaches 100 percent of its funding goal, prior to the deadline.

Citizinvestor is working with 23 other cities already to fund municipal projects that don’t fit in the budgets, including three in San Mateo County, and one in Elk Grove that have already been funded.


CROWDFUNDING TEEN PILOT LICENSES: City of Hayward Program On Citizinvestor


Source:   http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com

New air alliance between Ford Airport, business community aims to lower travel costs

GRAND RAPIDS, MI — The relationship between the Gerald R. Ford International Airport and the West Michigan business community is starting anew.

Airport officials recently announced they will explore a new partnership with The Right Place Inc. in an effort to lower the cost of travel for customers and connect West Michigan with additional markets across the country. Executive Director Brian Ryks said the decision is a continuation of the work accomplished by Dick DeVos' Regional Air Alliance of West Michigan, which no longer meets as of late 2013.

"Service, retention and expansion is always a top priority at any airport," Ryks said. 

On the day the alliance was formed, Jan. 27, 2010, AirTran Airways announced they would schedule routes to and from Grand Rapids — it wasn't exactly a coincidence. At the time, DeVos said his group of business leaders helped lure AirTran after a "prominent" West Michigan resident approached them about starting service.

Frontier Airlines began operations later that year and was touted as another success before it pulled out of the market altogether in summer 2013. Its absence was likely overshadowed by the news Southwest Airlines would begin operations and absorb AirTran's service. 

DeVos called Southwest "the whopper" on the line.

"(The alliance) was an effort to try to bring in low cost carrier service to Grand Rapids and West Michigan, and the success was really getting AirTran here (in 2010)," Ryks said. "You need that business community engaged ... the bottom line is that businesses are using that service."

The Ford Airport board expressed optimism that the success of the air alliance made enough of a splash to explore yet another alliance, Ryks said. Its main goals are to retain and expand air service, better the airport's facilities and spur the business community in the region. 

In turn, Ryks explained it could result in lower costs for flyers.
Birgit Klohs, president and CEO of The Right Place Inc., also sits on the Ford Airport board and said it would be "silly" that her interactions with both present a conflict. Rather, her organization and its consortium of regional businesses always have worked closely with the airport. A new alliance would continue the legacy of DeVos', with the goal of attracting new businesses to exclaim the importance of a regional airport hub like Ford Airport.
Klohs hopes it is established this summer.

"We're taking this on because it's an economic development question," Klohs said. "(The airport) is the often the first entry for many into our community, and we want to make sure it's the best it can be."
 
More: West Michigan business leaders form Regional Air Alliance to bring cheaper fares, better connections to Grand Rapids airport

Story and comments/reaction:   http://www.mlive.com

Professional Aeronautics Academy: Flight training offered at Clarksville Regional Airport

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. — Becoming a licensed pilot just became easier for would-be flyers in the Clarksville and Fort Campbell area. The Professional Aeronautics Academy now offers a complete professional pilot licensing program and individual flight lessons at Clarksville Regional Airport.

The arrival of PAA at Clarksville Regional is an exciting partnership opportunity for both the school and the city of Clarksville.

“The airport is always looking for positive ways to impact the community,” said Clarksville Regional Airport Director John Patterson. “PAA brings a very comprehensive service to the airport that will greatly benefit those seeking a professional aeronautics curriculum. We’re confident that we are entering a long-term relationship that really broadens the scope of what we offer.”

Tammy Stanford, director of training at PAA, shares Patterson’s sentiments.

“The airport has been extremely welcoming to PAA,” said Stanford. “The staff has been very accommodating to us and they have a strong culture of professionalism. We are glad to be located in such a beautiful facility that will enhance the experience of our students and instructors. ”

PAA programming is open to both military and civilian students. Most local students are active duty military who have some aviation experience and are looking for either initial flight training or are Fort Campbell based helicopter pilots who want to gain certification to fly commercial fixed-wing aircraft.

The program is supported by the Mountwest Community and Technical College headquartered in Huntington West Virginia. Classes run on a typical semester schedule and are offered in the fall, spring and summer.

Prospective students must score a 110 on the ASVAB military entrance exam or a 21 on the ACT college entrance exam to be considered for the program. Many students are eligible to use their Post 9-11 GI Bill benefits to complete the program.

“We’re very concerned with the finished product,” Jamie Parrish, PAA’s lead flight instructor. “PAA promotes a culture of safety; therefore our students go through a very selective process.”

The curriculum typically takes three to nine months to complete, and is dependent on the level of licensure the student is seeking and their past experience. There is both classroom and flight time required of students. However, some classroom time is offered online.

"PAA's curriculum is uniquely designed and not only qualifies students, but gives them the experience to be competitive at the regional airline level. A student completing the required courses walks away with exactly what regional airlines are looking for in a new hire," said Jamie Parrish.

PAA instructors are available to fly 7-days a week to help their students get in the required flight hours for their certification. All flights originate from Clarksville Regional in either PAA’s single-engine Cessna 172 and Cessna 172 RG aircraft or twin-engine Piper Seneca PA34-200.

“Our students learn on aircraft that meet high performance, multi-engine and complex requirements of the FAA for commercial pilots,” said Parrish. “You can come to PAA with zero experience and leave qualified to fly professionally in any single or twin engine plane.”

Not only do PAA students enter the job market prepared to go to work, but they are often distinguished from students in other training programs because of the additional flight time requirements. In fact, according to Parrish, the extra hours of flight time required by PAA help students immediately meet insurance requirements for commercial pilots and which “gives PAA students an edge when competing for jobs.”

“There are a lot of flight schools out there that can help you meet the minimum standards, but PAA strives to produce higher quality pilots,” said Patterson. “The students that they’re sending out into the job market are prepared and competitive. We’re glad to have them onsite at Clarksville Regional.”

PAA is accepting new student applications through May 3 for the summer semester. For more information about PAA programs or to apply, call 931-801-0687 or email Stanford@paero.org


Source:   http://www.theleafchronicle.com

Michigan State Police: $5 million helicopter would help urban areas, reduce dangerous chases

LANSING, MI -- Michigan State Police are hoping to purchase a new helicopter for additional patrols in some of the state's most crime-riddled cities, but the $5.2 million price tag may still ground the spending proposal.

The Senate Appropriations Committee on Wednesday approved a state police budget bill that includes $4.9 million for the department to add a third helicopter to its existing fleet along with another $246,000 in ongoing money to cover annual fuel and maintenance costs.

The funding, recommended by Gov. Rick Snyder in his executive budget proposal, was left out of the omnibus spending bill approved last week by the House Appropriations Committee, which included a placeholder to allow for future debate over the point of contention. 

State police say the new helicopter would allow its aviation unit to double patrols in Detroit, Saginaw, Pontiac and Flint as part of the governor's Secure Cities Partnership Initiative while giving it more flexibility to respond to needs in other parts of the state. 
 
Sgt. Dwayne Gill, testifying before the Senate committee this week, told lawmakers that helicopter patrols have proven to promote safety and save lives on the ground.

"When we have helicopters up, we don't have any chases," Gill said. "When they know the helicopter is up, they don't run from the police because they know they can't outrun the helicopter. As you all know, police chases are very dangerous, and if we can stop one chase or many, we're saving lives. Trooper lives as well as citizens."

MSP currently owns and operates Bell 430 and 206 L-3 helicopters, along with a small Cessna 182R plane. The whirlybirds are based in Lansing and Detroit, where the state has been supplementing local police efforts with airborne patrols since 2009. Patrols were expanded to cover other distressed cities in 2012.

The patrols are invaluable, according to the state police, but some lawmakers have questioned whether the state is in a position to spend $5 million-plus on a new Bell 407 helicopter, as proposed.

"I want to go out and buy a Cadillac, but I can't afford a Cadillac. The question is, in the budgetary times that we're now in, can we afford it?" said state Sen. Morris Hood III of Detroit, one of two Democrats on the appropriations committee who chose not to vote on the corrections budget bill that advanced in a 14-0 vote.

"I would love to have 30 helicopters flying over the state, especially in my community, which is considered one of these distressed cities where we have issues all the time. My point was only, can we afford it right now?"

Other lawmakers, anticipating public inquiries about the proposed spending in their home districts, grilled MSP about how a third helicopter would impact communities that are not currently part of the Secure Cities Partnership with the state.

"There may be some criticism for spending $5 million, and I wanted to hear if I'm helping my troopers and the citizens," said Sen. Mark Jansen (R-Gaines Township).

Beyond patrols, Gill explained that MSP's aviation unit responds to emergencies around the state. He noted that an MSP helicopter was the first on the scene when a fishing boat capsized in Saginaw Bay last year. MSP helped locate the ship for the U.S. Coast Guard, which ended up rescuing one of two fisherman who had been on board.

"We plan on using it out state to some of the other areas that we have not had the opportunity to get to," Gill said. "It will definitely help us with our readiness."

State Sen. Darwin Booher (R-Evart) noted significant flooding in parts of Michigan earlier this month and asked whether the helicopter he saw flying over his community was a state police unit.

When he got the answer he was looking for -- it was an MSP helicopter helping to assess the damage -- Booher announced he was ready to vote for the budget bill.


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